Product Code Database
Example Keywords: produce -netbooks $5-157
   » » Wiki: Letter (alphabet)
Tag Wiki 'Letter (alphabet)'.

A letter is a segmental of a phonemic . The inventory of all letters forms an . Letters broadly correspond to in the , although there is rarely a consistent and exact correspondence between letters and phonemes.

The word letter, borrowed from letre, entered around 1200 AD, eventually displacing the term bōcstæf (). Letter is descended from the Latin , which may have descended from the Greek "italic=no" (, writing tablet), via Etruscan. The word was used to refer interchangeably to a until the 19th century.

Definition and usage
A letter is a type of , which is a functional unit in a writing system: a letter (or group of letters) represents visually a phoneme (a unit of sound that can distinguish one from another in a particular ). Letters are combined to form written words, just as phonemes are combined to form spoken words. A sequence of graphemes representing a phoneme is called a multigraph or polygraph. A digraph is a case of polygraphs consisting of two graphemes. Examples of digraphs in English include ch, sh, and th. Some phonemes are represented by three letters, called a trigraph, such as sch in German.

The same may be used in different alphabets but have different sounds. The letters , and look rather alike but are the Latin H, Greek eta and Cyrillic en respectively; conversely the letters , () and (Es (Cyrillic)) from these alphabets each represent (approximately) the same s sound. The basic is used by hundreds of languages around the world, but there are many other . on a vase]]Specific names are associated with letters, which may differ with language, dialect, and history. Z, for example, is usually called zed in all English-speaking countries except the US, where it is named zee. As elements of alphabets, letters have prescribed orders, although this too may vary by language. In Spanish, for instance, is a separate letter, sorted separately from : this distinction is not usually recognised in English dictionaries. (In computer systems, each has its own unique , and , respectively.)

Letters may also have a numerical or quantitative value. This applies to and the letters of other writing systems. In English, are typically used instead of letters. Greek and Latin letters have a variety of modern uses in mathematics, science, and engineering.

People and objects are sometimes named after letters, for one of these reasons:

  1. The letter is an abbreviation, e.g. "G-man" as slang for a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, arose as short for "Government Man"
  2. Alphabetical order used as a counting system, e.g. Plan A, Plan B, etc.; , , , etc.
  3. The shape of the letter, e.g. , , , , , H-block, , , , S or Z twist, , , , , , , a , omega block
  4. Other reasons, e.g. after " x the unknown" in , because the discoverer did not know what they were

History of alphabetic writing
alphabets, phonograms, graphic symbols of sounds, were used. There were three kinds of phonograms: verbal, pictures for entire words, syllabic, which stood for articulations of words, and alphabetic, which represented signs or letters. The earliest examples of which are from Ancient Egypt and Ancient China, dating to around 3,000 BCE. The first consonantal alphabet emerged around 1800 BCE, representing the Phoenicians, workers in Egypt. Their script was originally written and read from right to left. From the Phoenician alphabet came the Etruscan and the . From there, the most widely used alphabet today emerged, Latin, which is written and read from left to right.

The Phoenician alphabet had 22 letters, nineteen of which the Latin alphabet used, and the Greek alphabet, which was adapted around 900 BCE, added four letters to the Phoenician list. This Greek alphabet was the first to assign letters not only to sounds, but also to .

The Roman Empire further developed and refined the Latin alphabet, beginning around 500 BCE. During the fifth and sixth centuries, the development of lowercase letters began to emerge in Roman writing. At this point, paragraphs, uppercase and lowercase letters, and the concept of sentences and clauses still had not emerged; these final bits of development emerged in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.

Finally, many slight letter additions and drops were made to the common alphabet used in the western world. Minor changes were made such as the removal of certain letters, such as thorn (Þ þ), (Ƿ ƿ), and (Ð ð).

Types of letters

Upper case and lower case
letter can have multiple variants, or , related to variation in style of or . Some writing systems have two major types of allographs for each letter: an uppercase form (also called capital or ) and a lowercase form (also called minuscule). Upper- and lowercase letters represent the same sound, but serve different functions in writing. Capital letters are most often used at the beginning of a sentence, as the first letter of a proper name or title, or in headers or inscriptions. They may also serve other functions, such as in the where all begin with capital letters.

The terms uppercase and lowercase originated in the days of handset type for printing presses. Individual letter blocks were kept in specific compartments of drawers in a type case. Capital letters were stored in a higher drawer or upper case.

(1980). 9780486261423, Courier Corporation. .

In most alphabetic scripts, diacritics (or accents) are a routinely used. English is unusual in not using them except for from other languages or personal names (for example, , Brontë). The ubiquity of this usage is indicated by the existence of precomposed characters for use with computer systems (for example, , , , , .) (as in "h") and (as in "p") make the height of lower-case letters vary.]]

Examples of letters in writing systems
In the following table, letters from multiple different are shown, to demonstrate the variety of letters used throughout the world.

Assameseঅ, আ, ই, ঈ, উ, ঊ, ঋ, এ, ঐ, ও, ঔ, ক, খ, গ, ঘ, ঙ, চ, ছ, জ, ঝ, ঞ, ট, ঠ, ড, ঢ, ণ, ত, থ, দ, ধ, ন, প, ফ, ব, ভ, ম, য, ৰ, ল, ৱ, শ, ষ, স, হ,ক্ষ, ড়, ঢ়, য়, ৎ, ং, ঃ, ঁ
অ, আ, ই, ঈ, উ, ঊ, ঋ, এ, ঐ, ও, ঔ, ক, খ, গ, ঘ, ঙ, চ, ছ, জ, ঝ, ঞ, ট, ঠ, ড, ঢ, ণ, ত, থ, দ, ধ, ন, প, ফ, ব, ভ, ম, য, ল, শ, ষ, স, হ,ক্ষ, ড়, ঢ়, য়, ৎ, ং, ঃ, ঁ
(Alphabetical from right to left) Aleph]], ﺏ, ﺕ, ﺙ, ﺝ, ﺡ, ﺥ, Dalet]], ﺫ, Resh]], Zayin]], ﺱ, ﺵ, Tsade]], ﺽ, Teth]], ﻅ, Ayin]], ﻍ, ﻑ, Qoph]], Kaph]], Lamedh]], Mem]], ﻥ, هـ, ﻭ, Yodh]]
ArmenianԱ, Բ, Գ, Դ, Ե, Զ, Է, Ը, Թ, Ժ, Ի, Լ, Խ, Ծ, Կ, Հ, Ձ, Ղ, Ճ, Մ, Յ, Ն, Շ, Ո, Չ, Պ, Ջ, Ռ, Ս, Վ, Տ, Ր, Ց, Ւ, Փ, Ք, Օ, Ֆ
(Alphabetical from right to left) , ܒ, ܓ, ܕ, ܗ, ܘ, ܙ, ܚ, ܛ, ܝ, ܟܟ, ܠ, ܡܡ, ܢܢ, , ܥ, ܦ, ܨ, , ܪ, ܫ,
А, Б, В, Г, Д, Е, Ё, Ж, З, И, Й, К, Л, М, Н, О, П, Р, С, Т, У, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Ш, Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, Я
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Α, Β, , Δ, , Ζ, Η, , , Κ, , Μ, Ν, Ξ, , Π, Ρ, Σ, , , , Χ, Ψ,
(Alphabetical from right to left) א, ב, , , ה, ו, , , , , , , , נ, , , פ, , , , ש, ת
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
ㄱ ㄲ ㄴ ㄷ ㄸ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅃ ㅅ ㅆ ㅇ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ ㅏ ㅐ ㅑ ㅒ ㅓ ㅔ ㅕ ㅖ ㅗ ㅘ ㅙ ㅚ ㅛ ㅜ ㅝ ㅞ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅢ ㅣ
က ခ ဂ ဃ င စ ဆ ဇ ဈ ည ဋ ဌ ဍ ဎ ဏ တ ထ ဒ ဓ န ပ ဖ ဗ ဘ မ ယ ရ လ ဝ သ ဟ ဠ အ
ㄅ ㄆ ㄇ ㄈ ㄉ ㄊ ㄋ ㄌ ㄍ ㄎ ㄏ ㄐ ㄑ ㄒ ㄓ ㄔ ㄕ ㄖ ㄗ ㄘ ㄙ ㄚ ㄛ ㄜ ㄝ ㄞ ㄟ ㄠ ㄡ ㄢ ㄣ ㄤ ㄥ ㄦ ㄧ ㄨ ㄩ ㄭ
  ᚁ ᚂ ᚃ ᚄ ᚅ ᚆ ᚇ ᚈ ᚉ ᚊ ᚋ ᚌ ᚍ ᚎ ᚏ ᚐ ᚑ ᚒ ᚓ ᚔ ᚕ ᚖ ᚗ ᚘ ᚙ ᚚ ᚛ ᚜
ሀ ለ ሐ መ ሠ ረ ሰ ሸ ቀ በ ተ ቸ ኀ ነ ኘ አ ከ ኸ ወ ዐ ዘ ዠ የ ደ ጀ ገ ጠ ጨ ጰ ጸ ፀ ፈ ፐ
(Amazigh alphabet)ⴰ, ⴱ, ⵛ, ⴷ, ⴹ, ⴻ, ⴼ, ⴳ, ⴳⵯ, ⵀ, ⵃ, ⵉ, ⵊ, ⴽ, ⴽⵯ, ⵍ, ⵎ, ⵏ, ⵓ, ⵄ, ⵖ, ⵅ, ⵇ, ⵔ, ⵕ, ⵙ, ⵚ, ⵜ, ⵟ, ⵡ, ⵢ, ⵣ, ⵥ
ꯀ, ꯁ, ꯂ, ꯃ, ꯄ, ꯅ, ꯆ, ꯈ, ꯉ, ꯊ, ꯋ, ꯌ, ꯍ, ꯎ, ꯏ, ꯐ, ꯑ, ꯒ, ꯓ, ꯔ, ꯕ, ꯖ, ꯗ, ꯘ, ꯙ, ꯚ, ꯛ, ꯜ, ꯝ, ꯞ, ꯟ, ꯠ, ꯡ, ꯢ, ꯥ, ꯤ, ꯨ, ꯦ, ꯣ, ꯩ, ꯧ, ꯪ

See also

Inline citations

General references

Further reading
  • Clodd, Edward (1904). The Story of the Alphabet. New: McClure, Phillips & Co.
  • Daniels, Peter T, and William Bright, eds (1996). .
  • Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman, and Nina Hyams (2014). An Introduction to Language (Tenth Ed.) . Boston: Wadsworth Cengage. .
  • (2024). 9780760766101, Barnes and Noble.
  • Powell, Barry B. (1991). Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet. | .
  • Robinson, A (2003). "The Origins of Writing" in Crowley, David and Paul Heyer Communication in History : Technology, Culture, Society (Fourth Ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon pp 34–40.

External links

Page 1 of 1
Page 1 of 1


Pages:  ..   .. 
Items:  .. 


General: Atom Feed Atom Feed  .. 
Help:  ..   .. 
Category:  ..   .. 
Media:  ..   .. 
Posts:  ..   ..   .. 


Page:  .. 
Summary:  .. 
1 Tags
10/10 Page Rank
5 Page Refs
2s Time